Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thrifted Thursday: Apple juice (Bakelite) for kids!

I haven't been doing a lot of thrifting lately- it seems like I've been running all over the place with the kids- but I did get a chance to do a little shopping the other day. 

I've had some good luck over the past year finding Bakelite bracelets in the $1 bins at thrift stores. I have about a dozen now and I haven't paid more than $4.50 for any of them. I don't know if I'm just lucky or I'm seeing things other people don't, but what can I say- I seem to be at the right place at the right time, I guess.

Anyway, I stopped in to this thrift store with my kids. They were both kind of cranky, and I didn't really have much time to look at anything else, but I always make time to look through the jewelry. To my surprise I found three bakelite bracelets in the $1 basket. One was a simple ivory colored adult size bangle, and the other two were child-size applejuice (because of their transparency and color) bakelite bracelets.

Aren't they sweet? I've never seen vintage child-size bakelite jewelry before, so of course I snapped these up.

My daughter may not be old enough to appreciate these yet- heck, I just hope she doesn't break them before she does- but they're pretty sturdy. After all, bakelite was first and foremost an industrial plastic. So why not make kids' jewelry out of it? It sure beats lead/cadmium/whatever-else they make kids jewelry out of these days!


  1. What a score! Those are sooo cute. I love them. I am the same way with my bakelite collection. I always hound the dollar bins at thrift stores. One older lady told me a great way to test bakelite. Spray 409 cleaner on a paper towel and run the bakelite with it. If the 409 on the cloth turns yellow, it's real bakelite. It also does not harm the bakelite at all. Great score!!

  2. Major score! I'll be looking in the bracelet bins from now on!

  3. I love those bracelets! I've been avoiding the thrifts this summer, partially from the drastic need to save $, but mainly because I just don't feel like it's any fun with my kids along. They have no attention span! And they have suddenly turned into replicas of their father: "why are you buying this? Was this on your list? What did we come in here for, anyway?" Ugh.

  4. Thanks all. I've gotten pretty good at spotting real bakelite just from the feel of it (it's heavier than plastic), but if I'm ever in doubt before I buy, I just rub it real hard with my thumb. You can usually get it warm enough that you can smell the bakelite smell. (Of course, you may get some weird looks from the people behind the counter while you're sniffing a bracelet, but you're not doing any harm to the object- just trying to save yourself some $ if it's not real!)